Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Holly Strong shoots on goal for the last of her two goals in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Fresno.
The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team picked up a pair of victories to open its new campaign, including a 4-1 victory over the Fresno Warriors to open the home season.
The Hawks got two goals each from Raina Wristen and Holly Strong for the victory Thursday.
The Hawks dominated the possession and shots in the first half of play. Wristen got Liberty on the board six minutes into the match.
She intercepted a Fresno throw-in, beat her defender to the goal and shot from the left into the right corner for the 1-0 lead.
However, Fresno evened the score five minutes later. They got a run on the left side and shot off goalkeeper Trinity McGuire. The ball went towards the goal, but Matison McCombs worked back to kick the ball out of the goal. However, Fresno was right there and knocked the ball back for the game-tying goal.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, that goal seemed to wake a sleeping giant on a cold night.
The Hawks responded by scoring three goals in a six-minute span to take control of the match.
In the 26th minute, Wristen got the ball in the middle, beat a defender going to her right and shot into the left corner for the goal and a 2-01 lead.
Three minutes later, Wristen got the ball in front again and touched it back to Morgan Durazo. Durazo sent it back to Strong, who settled the ball just outside the goalkeeper’s box and shot into the right corner of the net for the goal and a 3-1 lead.
In the 36th minute of the second half, Wristen, again, got the ball in the middle and passed it to Strong going left. Strong shot the ball into the upper right corner for the goal and a 4-1 lead at the half.
Head coach Erick Walker made substitutions in the second half and was content with the three-goal advantage.
Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Shevenell didn’t touch the ball at all in the second half, although Fresno had a prime opportunity with about three minutes left in the match.
Fresno got a free kick just outside the goalkeeper’s box, but the kick went into the Liberty wall and was cleared out.
Liberty next hosts Clovis West on Tuesday at 6 p.m.